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June 21, 2005 Extra Credit
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June 21, 2005

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June 20
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“NCLB Doesn’t Water Down the Educational Soup”

The following are excerpts from a recent editorial in Oregon’s Register Guard highlighting the graduation season and No Child Left Behind’s commitment to educating every child:

“These graduates are the products of a school system that explicitly aims to educate everyone – not just the brightest and the most talented, not just the wealthy and the culturally advantaged, but every single child. If a child has a learning disability or needs extra help in the in classroom, the schools are legally required to provide it. If a child shows little interest in classwork and comes from a family that doesn’t value education, the schools are required to make a sustained effort to teach that child anyway.”

“… the American educational system is not hurting the nation’s competitive position by investing in the education of all its children in kindergarten through high school, and even devoting a disproportionate share of resources to those students who are hardest to teach. The United States’ commitment, expressed in the title of the Leave No Child Behind Act, doesn't water down the educational soup.”

“Indeed, a refusal to close the door on the potential of any child should be recognized as a winning strategy. Some children’s potential can't be spotted until after it has been given a chance to develop. Early identification of children as undeserving of an educational investment can prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Through its profoundly democratic decision to provide educational advantages to all children, the United States has resolved to make the most of its human resources.”

“Scanning the faces and names of this year’s graduates, it’s plain that many of them have the brains, character and family support that would have allowed them to succeed under any educational system. But then there are always more than a few surprises – the graduates who overcame great adversity, the ones who blossomed late, the kids who could easily have been written off early on. The refusal to give up on any child is among the nation’s most noble commitments, and graduation time reinforces the faith that the investment will be repaid manyfold.”

The complete text of this editorial is available online from Oregon’s Register Guard archives for a fee.

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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 07/28/2006